Τρίτη, 6 Μαΐου 2014

Συνέντευξη Τύπου Αντιπροέδρου της Κυβέρνησης και ΥπΕξ Ευ. Βενιζέλου με τον ΥπΕξ των Η.Α.Ε. Σεΐχη Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

στη 2η Σύνοδο της Επιτροπής Συνεργασίας Ελλάδας – Η.Α.Ε.

 

Ευ. Βενιζέλος: Υψηλότατε, κύριοι Υπουργοί, αξιότιμα μέλη των αντιπροσωπειών των Ηνωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων και της Ελλάδας.


Υποδέχομαι με ιδιαίτερη χαρά στην Ελλάδα, στην Αθήνα την Αυτού Υψηλότητα, τον Σεΐχη Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ένα στενό και καλό φίλο, με τον οποίον είχαμε ήδη κατ’ ιδίαν μία ιδιαιτέρως ενδιαφέρουσα συνομιλία.


Κατά τη διάρκεια της συνομιλίας αυτής, διαπιστώσαμε για μία άλλη φορά, τη συναντίληψη, τη ταύτιση, θα έλεγα που έχουμε σε όλα τα κρίσιμα θέματα της διεθνούς πολιτικής. Είχαμε την ευκαιρία τόσο στη κατ΄ιδίαν συζήτησή μας, όσο και στη συνάντηση των δύο πολιτικών αντιπροσωπειών, να διαπιστώσουμε, πριν από λίγο, πόσο στενές είναι πλέον οι σχέσεις των δύο χωρών σε όλους τους τομείς. Οι πολιτικές, οικονομικές, πολιτιστικές και οι αμυντικές μας σχέσεις. Τα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα και την Ελλάδα μας συνδέει μία εταιρική πραγματικά σχέση.


Αξιοποιώ την ευκαιρία αυτή να καλωσορίσω και δημόσια, θερμά όλα τα μέλη της εμιρατινής αντιπροσωπείας. Υψηλότατε, η κάθε μία από τις χώρες μας τα τελευταία χρόνια είχε να αντιμετωπίσει μεγάλες προκλήσεις. Ήδη έχει διαφανεί πλέον ότι και οι δύο χώρες αντιμετωπίζουν τις διαφορετικές τους προκλήσεις με επιτυχία και ίσως αυτός να είναι ένας πολύ σημαντικός κοινός παρονομαστής.

Όπως γνωρίζω, γιατί είχα τη τιμή να επισκεφθώ τα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα δύο φορές υπό προηγούμενες Υπουργικές μου ιδιότητες, η χώρα σας είχε θέσει ως στόχο τη διαφοροποίηση της οικονομίας της, ώστε αυτή να μην εξαρτάται πλέον αποκλειστικά από τις ενεργειακές πηγές της χώρας. Ήδη η διαφοροποίηση αυτή έχει επιτευχθεί σε βαθμό που ακόμη και στον τομέα της ενέργειας. Τα Εμιράτα να είναι σήμερα μία από τις πρωτοπόρες χώρες παγκοσμίως στον τομέα της αξιοποίησης εναλλακτικών και ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας.


Η Ελλάδα όπως γνωρίζετε, είχε να αντιμετωπίσει τη δική της πολλαπλή κρίση, δημοσιονομική, διαρθρωτική, τελικά κοινωνική και τώρα χάρις στις θυσίες του ελληνικού λαού, χάρις στο γιγαντιαίο πρόγραμμα δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής και μεταρρυθμίσεων που ακολουθήσαμε, πετύχαμε για πρώτη φορά να έχουμε πρωτογενές πλεόνασμα. Μετά από 8 χρόνια ύφεσης, επανερχόμαστε σε θετικούς ρυθμούς ανάπτυξης. Κινούμαστε στο δημοσιονομικό μας έλλειμμα κάτω από το πανευρωπαϊκό όριο 3% του ΑΕΠ. Το πιο εντυπωσιακό δε, είναι ότι, πριν από λίγες ημέρες, πρώτη είδηση στα διεθνή μέσα ενημέρωσης, ήταν η επιστροφή της Ελλάδας στις διεθνείς αγορές με το νέο πενταετές ομόλογο που εξέδωσε με ένα εντυπωσιακά καλό επιτόκιο, μετά από 4 χρόνια απουσίας από τις διεθνείς αγορές.


Έχω την εντύπωση όμως, ότι αυτό που πραγματικά μας φέρνει τόσο κοντά τις δύο χώρες, είναι ότι επιδιώκοντας να αντιμετωπίσουμε τις προκλήσεις της εποχής με τον πλέον επωφελή τρόπο για τους λαούς μας, αποζητούμε την εξωστρέφεια και πιστεύουμε σε μία πολιτική συνεργασιών που στηρίζεται στις αρχές της αμοιβαίας κατανόησης και του σεβασμού, της συνέπειας και της αξιοπιστίας, στο σεβασμό του άλλου.


Η Ελλάδα και τα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα με βαθιά προσήλωση σε αυτές τις αρχές, σφυρηλατήσαμε ένα κλίμα αμοιβαίας εμπιστοσύνης, πάνω στο οποίο οικοδομήσαμε τις στενές πολιτικές, οικονομικές και πολιτιστικές μας σχέσεις και επάνω στο έδαφος αυτό αναπτύσσουμε τις πρωτοβουλίες που θα ανακοινώσουμε σήμερα, οι οποίες είναι εξαιρετικά σημαντικές. Χειροπιαστές και σημαντικές.


Αυτό το κλίμα αμοιβαίας εμπιστοσύνης και κατανόησης και η εταιρική μας σχέση σφυρηλατούνται στην πράξη και αποδίδουν αποτελέσματα. Έχουμε πολύ στενή συνεργασία, βεβαίως, και σε όλους τους διεθνείς οργανισμούς, ιδίως στο επίπεδο του Οργανισμού Ηνωμένων Εθνών, θέλω δε να θεωρείτε την Ελλάδα ως έναν πρεσβευτή σας στους κόλπους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και της ζώνης του ευρώ.


Έχουμε πυκνές πολιτικές διαβουλεύσεις και διαπίστωσα για μια ακόμη φορά σήμερα πως αυτές οι διαβουλεύσεις αποδίδουν πρακτικά αποτελέσματα σε όλους τους τομείς. Ήδη διαθέτουμε το ασφαλές και στέρεο νομικό πλαίσιο για την περαιτέρω ανάπτυξη των οικονομικών μας σχέσεων, καθώς έχουμε πλέον μια συμφωνία αποφυγής διπλής φορολογίας και σήμερα προχωράμε στην υπογραφή της συμφωνίας για την προώθηση και την προστασία των επενδύσεων.


Υψηλότατε, είναι πραγματικά μεγάλη μου τιμή να συμπροεδρεύω με εσάς, μια τόσο γνωστή και σημαντική διεθνή προσωπικότητα και έναν τόσο αγαπητό φίλο, της σημερινής συνεδρίασης της Μικτής Επιτροπής Συνεργασίας Ελλάδος – Ηνωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων.


Χαίρομαι γιατί μοιραζόμαστε, σήμερα οι δυο μας, ως συμπρόεδροι της συνάντησης αυτής, τη βαθιά ικανοποίηση για την αλματώδη πρόοδο που σημειώθηκε στις διμερείς μας σχέσεις στο σχετικά μικρό χρονικό διάστημα, που διέρρευσε από την πρώτη σύνοδο αυτής της Επιτροπής που είχε πραγματοποιηθεί την Αθήνα τον Ιανουάριο του 2012 έως σήμερα. Τότε είχε υπογραφεί μια σημαντική συμφωνία, η συμφωνία για τη συνεργασία στον τομέα του τουρισμού. Τώρα βλέπετε ότι υπογράφουμε πολλές συμφωνίες και στον ιδιωτικό τομέα αλλά και μεταξύ των δύο κυβερνήσεων.


Επιτρέψτε μου, επίσης, να σας ευχαριστήσω δημόσια γιατί είχατε την καλοσύνη και την ευγένεια να προτείνετε να πραγματοποιηθεί αυτή η συνάντηση, επίσης, στην Αθήνα. Έτσι μας διευκολύνατε λόγω του βεβαρημένου προγράμματος της Ελληνικής Προεδρίας παρότι και το δικό σας πρόγραμμα είναι εξαιρετικά βεβαρημένο, αλλά ενεργήσατε ως φίλος, δείχνοντας ότι πιστεύετε στη μεγάλη σημασία των διμερών μας σχέσεων. Είναι αυτό μια ευκαιρία να γιορτάσουμε μαζί εδώ την Ελληνική Προεδρία του Συμβουλίου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, την 5η ιστορικά μετά την ένταξη της Ελλάδας στις ευρωπαϊκές κοινότητες το 1981.


Σήμερα, Υψηλότατε, θα υπογράψουμε ή θα μονογραφήσουμε έξι συνολικά συμφωνίες και μνημόνια κατανόησης. Χαίρομαι, λοιπόν, γιατί το έργο που έχει παραχθεί είναι πάρα πολύ πλούσιο. Έτσι έχουμε μπροστά μας πολλές καινούργιες προκλήσεις γιατί πρέπει να εφαρμόσουμε όλα αυτά που θα υπογράψουμε σήμερα.


Επιτρέψτε μου, πέρα από όσα μνημόνευσα για τη συμφωνία αποφυγής διπλής φορολογίας, για τη συμφωνία προστασίας των επενδύσεων, για τις εταιρικές συμφωνίες που θα υπογραφούν σε ένα επίπεδο business to business, να αναφερθώ ιδιαιτέρως στις βάσεις της στενής πολιτιστικής μας συνεργασίας, με το μνημόνιο για την πολιτιστική συνεργασία που θα υπογραφεί σήμερα.


Ξέρω ότι αναπτύσσετε στα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα, ιδίως στο Abu Dhabi, ένα γιγαντιαίο, φιλόδοξο, εντυπωσιακό πρόγραμμα πολιτιστικών υποδομών σε συνεργασία με τα μεγαλύτερα μουσεία του κόσμου, όπως για παράδειγμα με το Λούβρο. Ελπίζω στο μέλλον να έχουμε την ευκαιρία να ετοιμάσουμε στην επικράτεια των Ηνωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων και το παράρτημα ενός ελληνικού μουσείου, προκειμένου να συμβολίσουμε έτσι με πολύ πρακτικό τρόπο τη φιλία μας, τη συνεργασία μας, αλλά θα έλεγα και το κοινό πολιτιστικό υπόβαθρο που μας ενώνει.
Ιδιαίτερα θέλω να μνημονεύσω, επίσης, και τη συνεργασία στον τομέα της άμυνας. Οι σχέσεις μεταξύ των δύο υπουργείων άμυνας αναπτύσσονται ραγδαία και έτσι, σήμερα, θα υπογραφούν τρεις νέες συμφωνίες.


Χαίρομαι, επίσης, γιατί έχουμε μία πολύ καλή συνεργασία και στον τομέα της υγείας, αυτό συμβολίζει και η παρουσία δίπλα μου του Έλληνα Υπουργού Υγείας, του κυρίου Γεωργιάδη, τον οποίο και ευχαριστώ.


Υψηλότατε, θεωρώ ότι αυτή η 2η Σύνοδος της Μεικτής Επιτροπής Συνεργασίας Ελλάδας –Ηνωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων ήταν εντυπωσιακά επιτυχής. Είναι το επιστέγασμα μιας μεγάλης και συστηματικής προσπάθειας των εμπλεκομένων Υπουργών και στελεχών και των δύο πλευρών. Τους ευχαριστώ από καρδιάς.

Θέλω να ευχαριστήσω και να συγχαρώ όλα ανεξαιρέτως τα μέλη των αντιπροσωπειών και να ευχηθώ η 3η Σύνοδος να συγκληθεί σύντομα, βεβαίως στα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα την φορά αυτή, και να έχει ακόμα πιο επιτυχές αποτέλεσμα.


Υψηλότατε, σας ευχαριστώ και σας παρακαλώ να λάβετε τον λόγο.

 


 

Interventions of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the 2nd Greek-UAE Joint Interministerial Committee (Athens, 6 May 2014) 

 

E. VENIZELOS: Your Highness, Ministers, esteemed members of the delegations of the United Arab Emirates and Greece, it is with great pleasure that I welcome to Greece, to Athens, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a close and good friend with whom I have already had very interesting one-on-one talks.

During these talks, we ascertained once again the shared perception, the coincidence of views, I would say, that we have on all the critical issues in international politics. We had the opportunity in our one-on-one talks, as well as in the meeting of the two political delegations, to ascertain, a short while ago, how close the two countries’ relations now are in every sector. Our political, economic, cultural and defence relations. The United Arab Emirates and Greece are linked by a true partnership.

I take this opportunity to warmly and publicly welcome all the members of the UAE delegation. Your Highness, each of our countries has, in recent years, faced major challenges. It is now apparent that both countries are confronting their respective challenges successfully, and perhaps this is the most important common denominator.

As I am aware, because I had the opportunity to visit the United Arab Emirates twice in two previous ministerial capacities, your country has set the goal of diversification of its economy, so as no longer to depend exclusively on the country’s energy resources. This diversification has already been achieved to a degree even in the energy sector. The Emirates are today one of the global frontrunners in the sector of alternative and renewable energy sources.

As you know, Greece had to face its own multifaceted crisis: fiscal, structural and, in the end, social. And now, thanks to the sacrifices of the Greek people, thanks to the huge fiscal adjustment and reform programme we followed, we have for the first time achieved a primary surplus. After eight years of recession, we are returning to positive growth rates. We have brought our fiscal deficit under the European ceiling of 3% of GDP. And what is most impressive is that, a few days ago, we made international headlines with Greece’s return to the international markets, with a new five-year bond that was issued at an impressively good interest rate, after four years of absence from the international markets.

It is my sense that what really brings the two countries so close together is that, endeavoring to confront the challenges of the times in the way that most benefits our peoples, we are seeking extraversion and we believe in a policy of cooperation that is founded on the principles of mutual understanding and respect, on diligence and credibility, on respect for one another.

With profound dedication to these principles, Greece and United Arab Emirates forged a climate of mutual trust, on which we built our close political, economic and cultural relations. And on this ground we are developing the initiatives we will be announcing today; initiatives that are extremely important. Tangible and important.

This climate of mutual trust and understanding and our partnership are being forged in action and are producing results. We also have very close cooperation, of course, in all the international organizations, particularly on the level of the United Nations, and I want you to think of Greece as an ambassador for you within the European union and the eurozone.

We have frequent political consultations, and I ascertained once again today that these consultations are producing practical results in all sectors. We already have the secure and solid legal framework for the further development of our economic relations, as we now have an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, and today we are moving ahead to the signing of the agreement on the promotion and protection of investments.

Your Highness, it truly is a great honor to co-chair with you – such a well-known and important international personage, and such a good friend – today’s meeting of the Greek-United Arab Emirates Joint Interministerial Committee.

I am pleased that we are today sharing, as co-chairs of this meeting, the profound satisfaction at the rapid progress that was made in our bilateral relations in the relatively short time between the first meeting of this Committee, in 2012, and today. An important agreement was signed then: the agreement on cooperation in the tourism sector. Now you see that we are signing many agreements, both in the private sector and between the two governments.

Allow me also to thank you publicly for having the kindness and courtesy to propose that this meeting, too, be held in Athens. This makes it much easier for us, given the tight programme of the Hellenic Presidency, despite the fact that your programme is also extremely tight. But you acted as a friend, showing that you believe in the great importance of our bilateral relations. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate together, here, the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union; our fifth Presidency since joining the European Communities in 1981.

Today, Your Highness, we will be signing or initialing a total of six agreements and memoranda of understanding. So I am pleased that the work that has been done is very, very rich. We thus have before us many new challenges, because we have to implement everything that we are signing today.

Allow me, in addition to everything I noted regarding the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, regarding the agreement on the protection of investments, regarding the partnership agreements to be signed on a business-to-business level, to make special mention of the foundations of our close cultural cooperation, with the memorandum on cultural cooperation that we are signing today.

I know that you are developing – in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Abu Dhabi – a vast, ambitious, impressive programme of cultural infrastructure, in cooperation with the biggest museums in the world, such as the Louvre, for example. I hope that we will have to opportunity in the future to prepare, in the UAE, a branch of a Greek museum as well, thus symbolizing in a very tangible manner our friendship, our cooperation, and, I would say, the common cultural foundation that unites us.

I would also like to make special mention of our cooperation in the defence sector. The relations between our two defence ministries are developing rapidly, and thus, today, three new agreements will be signed.

I am also pleased because we have very good cooperation in the health sector, and this is symbolized by the presence here, next to me, of the Greek Minister of Health, Mr. Georgiadis, whom I also thank.

Your Highness, I believe that this 2nd Greek-UAE Joint Interministerial Committee was an impressive success, crowning a great and systematic effort on the part of the involved Ministers and personnel of both sides. They have my heartfelt thanks.

I want to thank and congratulate all of the members of the delegations and express the hope that the 3rd JIC convenes soon – in the UAE this time, of course – and has even more successful results.

Your Highness, I thank you and I ask you to take the floor.

AL NAHYAN: Honorable Mr. Minister, honorable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor for me to be here in Athens today, hosted by you, with the Deputy Prime Minister, especially now that Greece has successfully undertaken the Presidency of the European Union. There is no doubt that, at this meeting, we are celebrating not only the very good relationship between the two countries, but also the trust that exists between us; trust that has been built in recent years.

Moreover, Mr. Minister, together with the Greek government, with the Greek people, we are celebrating the facing of the crisis, of the challenges and the difficulties you have confronted in the economic sector in recent years. But these difficulties showed the world, showed Europe, how strong the Greek people are, how strong the Greek economy is, despite the difficulties. And I am certain that Greece will move ahead with greater strength and greater ability to attract investments and tourism from the whole world.

We acknowledge, honorable Minister, that you were able to persuade not only the state of the Emirates, but also investors from the Emirates to come to Greece today to explore major opportunities for investment in this country.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, I want to thank the Greek government for the confidence it shows in the state of the United Arab Emirates, for the support you gave to Dubai’s bid to host Expo 2020.

I also want to thank you again for your support for the Schengen visa waiver for the citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, you said that we are here today even though we should be in Abu Dhabi. But we wanted this meeting to take place in Greece – first, so that we might celebrate your Presidency of the European Union, and, second, in order to celebrate and seek investment opportunities for the Emirates in Greece and send a crystal clear message to our friends in Greece as to how much we trust the Greek economy, how much we want to enhance this relationship between the two countries.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, as you know from our many meetings in the past, as well as from our meeting today, we do not restrict our talks to bilateral relations. We also discuss regional issues, whether they be Arab affairs, European affairs or international affairs.

We talked about the developments in the region that interests us. We always look to Greece as the country closest to the Arabs, the European country closest to the Arabs, from an historical, geographical and social perspective. There is a long historical relationship linking the Arabs and Greek culture.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, we had many opportunities to exchange views on the developments in Syria, in Egypt, in Libya, and regarding other issues: developments in the Balkans, in Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear programme.

As the Deputy Prime Minister said, there are many issues on which we have exchanged views, and we agree on the importance and necessity of an ongoing exchange of views regarding these important issues.

Honorable Minister, I would like to thank the Task Force, which we created with our friend the honorable Notis Mytarakis and with Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who make great efforts to coordinate and to discuss investment issues, and I think that today we can say that we in the Emirates are proud to have reached a point where we can say that we will move ahead with a major investment programme for Hellenikon, worth €7 billion. This major project will be carried out in one of the best locales in the Mediterranean. As a result, we look forward to this major project’s providing 50,000 jobs when it is completed. The Dubai Investment Council also participated in the investment in Astera Vouliagmenis and in other investment agreements in the energy sector that are to be signed between the Greek TERNA and the energy company of the Emirates.

And the presence of my friend Dr. Al Jaber was certainly catalytic. I cannot but make mention of the interest of Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and of the company Masdar; how interested they are in finding investment opportunities in energy sources, where there is solar energy, wind energy. All these are important here in Greece, and they are programmes that are very important to us.

I want to mention the trade transactions between the two countries. They are very low – less than €300 million. There are many opportunities, but, unfortunately, we are very far behind in this sector. And with regard to the Agreements, mainly regarding the protection of investments and the avoidance of double taxation, all this will contribute to boosting trade transactions.

Moreover, honorable Deputy Prime Minister, we must soon reach an agreement on transport; air transport. The two countries’ civil aviation companies must agree to work together, to open the airspace, which will facilitate not only the Emirates, but also Greece, so that they (Greek aircraft) can use the airports of the Emirates to fly to Africa, to East Asia and to East Africa. This will create an opportunity for the Greek airports to be upgraded, either as tourism destinations or as transit hubs.

Today’s Committee also concerned investment, trade, economic, banking, energy, aviation, educational, agricultural, and sports cooperation. I am very pleased today, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, because we referred to issues beyond politics and investments. We talked about education issues, about culture. We want to strengthen this cooperation in many sectors.

We have a great opportunity today to strengthen the Emirates’ position as a regional cultural crossroads as well, and if Greece wants to and is interested in playing a role in the Emirates’ development as a cultural center in the region, I would say that we can collaborate. And I am also in the happy position of being able to say that we have a military delegation from the Emirates that will be signing defence agreements between the two countries.

And we are also pleased because today, in the Emirates, it is the anniversary of the unification of the Emirates Armed Forces. Today is an important anniversary for us, and it is an opportunity for us to thank the Emirates Armed Forces. And we are also pleased because this is happening today, when we are signing agreements with Greece – a fact that lends a greater aura to this anniversary.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, I have spoken at length, but I want to thank the Greek government and the Greek people for their hospitality, for the affection we receive every time.

I also want to thank the whole team on both sides, who worked to make this meeting a success, whether on a governmental or a technical level, the other agencies, the entrepreneurs who worked all together.

And I want to stress again the affection we are experiencing in this cooperation. We have reached a point of friendship, true affection between the two countries. I hope that these feelings continue for many years, because we have great potential and a great ability to develop our bilateral relations.

The honorable Deputy Prime Minister and I agreed to expand these relations, not just on the level of bilateral relations, but also on other levels: in the development sector, in the investment sector, on the third pillar and on the level of international organizations, at the UN, everywhere. We have great potential to continue to work together.

Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Minister, I thank you, I thank you all.

E. VENIZELOS: I thank you warmly for your friendship, for your affection, for the very warm and sincere sentiments you expressed. I want to assure you that they are sentiments both genuine and mutual.

Allow me to congratulate you on today’s anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces and ask you to convey our respects and warm thanks to the Crown Prince. And to the leadership of the Emirates Armed Forces, our warm wishes on today’s anniversary.

As you said, we really are in harmony on issues of international politics, on a regional and international level; we coordinate, we move in parallel. We had the opportunity to reaffirm this in our talks today on all the major pending fronts: regarding Ukraine, the situation in the Western Balkans, the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the situation in Egypt, the situation in Libya. And I am pleased that there is room for joint international initiatives.

I would also like to reiterate our commitment to have completed by the end of this semester the procedure for the liberalization of visas for citizens of the United Arab Emirates. This is a commitment on our part, because we believe that we really are the gateway to the European Union for the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world in general – the friendliest country, the country with the closest ties.

I too would like to thank Dr. Al Jaber and Deputy Minister Mytarakis for the excellent work they did. And I would again like to thank all the members of the delegations.

You mentioned the gaps we have in our cooperation – in the air transport sector. This must be our next goal: to take practical and courageous steps in this sector.

Our volume of trade transactions is in fact very small, so behold an area for growth that our private sector must capitalize on, with the support of the two governments.

Finally, allow me to say that, as you rightly underscored, both the investment here in Astera, which is an exemplary area, as well as the major plan for Hellenikon, the largest direct investment being carried out in Greece at this time, are exceedingly encouraging for the Greek people and for the Greek economy. With its participation in the plan for Hellenikon, the United Arab Emirates is giving a vote of confidence to the Greek economy.

It is perhaps difficult for the average Greek citizen to understand the importance of this investment, its magnitude, its impact, the creation of new jobs. But very soon, as soon as ground is broken on this ambitious plan, its beneficial impact will be felt throughout the real economy.

That is why I truly want to thank you for these specific tangible acts of confidence in and support for the Greek economy, now that Greece is returning to normalcy, returning to positive growth rates, again standing on its own feet and functioning as an equal member of the European Union and the eurozone.

Once again, I thank you for your presence here, and I wish all the best to you, to your family, to your country and to the whole of the Arab world.

Tags: Η Εξέλιξη της ΚρίσηςΕξωτερική ΠολιτικήΕλληνική ΠροεδρίαΣυνεντεύξεις ΤύπουΠολιτικές Ομιλίες, 2014Ομιλίες σε Συνέδρια | Ημερίδες | Εκδηλώσεις, 2014